Kano blast: JTF, Ohanaeze hospital disagree on casualties

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KANO — The casualty fig-ures from the multiple blasts that rocked the predominantly Christian quarters in Kano, Monday evening, has increased to 45 dead, according to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano.
Briefing newsmen on the development in Kano, yesterday, Chairman, Kano chapter of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Chief Tobias Idika, said: “We counted 45 dead bodies and they have all been deposited at the morgue for identification by relations.”
“We have records and proof of what we are talking about. I participated in the rescue operations and I am best informed to tell the world what happened regarding the deaths and the injured.”
He revealed that 15 people were injured during the blast, adding that the injured were on admission at various government hospitals in the metropolis.
He described the attack “as one too many on members of the guest community doing their legitimate business in the city and contributing to its growth.
“It is high time those in position of authority rose to stem the tide.”
Idika commended the decision of the state government to take care of the medical bill of the injured.
He, however, expressed skepticism on the sincerity of the pledge “in the light of previous experiences where such victims were left on their own after the profit making statement on camera.
“We have seen this kind of promises in the past that start and end in camera, and it is our hope this kind of promises by the governor will be translated into concrete action for the benefit of mankind.”
12 died— JTF
Contesting the casualty figure in a statement, the Joint Military Task Force said: “At 9 p.m. on July 29, sounds of simultaneous explosion were triggered by persons suspected to be members of the Boko Haram group between 38 and 41, New Road and Igbo Road by Enugu Road.”
The statement by Captain Ikediche Iweha added that “12 persons were confirmed to have died from both incidents, while a couple of others, who sustained various degree of injuries, were rushed to hospital for medical attention.
“The latest incidents could have been avoided if citizens had maintained vigilance to observe when packages are dropped as it was in this case, contrary to reports circulating in some media that they were suicide bombers.”
Hospital says 24 dead, 10 injured
Speaking on the development, spokesman of Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Aminu Inuwa, said “this hospital received 24 dead bodies from security agents, and the breakdown of the figure shows that three out of this figure are female.
“We also have in the hospital 10 injured persons that are being attended to by our team of expert. We are doing our best to save lives, and we therefore call for understanding.”
He denied reports that the hospital authorities refused to release corpses to relation for interment.
He said: “This is an organization. We have a process and we always ensure that it is followed to the letter to avoid backlash, and this is the best practice all over the world.”
Kwankwaso’s pledge
Kano State Government has, however, directed health institutions handling cases of injured victims of the blast to offer free service to them.
Kwankwaso, who gave the directive during a visit to the victims at the Murtala Mohammed Hospital, Kano, described the attack “as an attack on Nigeria,” adding that “we will do our best to stop reoccurrence.”
In the meantime, JTF has stepped up patrols in the city following renewed onslaught by the extremist group in the city.
Armed troops in patrol vehicles were seen all over the city, especially areas designated as “dark spots,” while cautioning residents to be wary and report suspicious abandoned packages.
Meanwhile, Federal Government has extended the time frame for the work of the Kabiru Tanimu-led Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North by two months to allow it complete its assignment.
Boko Haram  C’ttee reacts
This is coming on the heels of assertion by chairman of the committee and Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Kabiru, that despite the bomb blast in Kano State that claimed scores of lives, the committee will continue its assignment.
Speaking with State House correspondents after collecting the letter of extension yesterday, Tanimu said that the committee was in contact with genuine members of the Boko Haram sect and that the ceasefire offer was still on course.
According to him, the seeming disparate voices from members of the sect on their meetings with the committee represent the various dynamics within them.
He said: “There are people who are engaged in it on the basis of ideology or dogma. Some people are doing it on the basis of economic benefits.
“Some people are fifth columnists, who will make sure you don’t succeed in whatever you do.”
Speaking on the Kano incident, Tanimu said it was really unfortunate that it happened at a time serious efforts were being made by government to ensure that issues were sorted out.
He said that some people, who did not wish the country well, were trying to pull the hands of the clock backwards.
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